Defensive end, West Virginia
What was your impression of the coaches during your visit here?
“They were a very, very down- to-earth staff. I wasn’t able to meet Coach Lewis, due to his father’s passing, but from what I’ve heard, he’s a great guy. Coach Jay Hayes was a great guy. Everyone was humble and mellow and all about working.”
Do you know much about
“I know some about him. Not a lot.”
Did you ever hear people comparing you to him?
“Yes. Coach Hayes and I talked about Michael Johnson and my comparison with him.”
How were you so successful in knocking down passes?
“I tried to improve all around.”
Are you a Steelers fan?
“I grew up one, but it faded in college.”
“I became a college fan.”
Do you know anything about the Bengals’ defensive line?
Do you know
“We haven’t formally met, but I’ve seen him multiple times.”
Coach Hayes mentioned that he knows your family a little bit. How did that relationship help put you at ease?
“I was very comfortable on my visit. It was almost like hanging out with an uncle. Him knowing my family and growing up with my dad — it’s always good to have that kind of connection.”
What makes you such an exciting and explosive player?
“My speed and relentless effort — I have a big motor and use my size to my advantage. I’ve improved as a pass rusher, and I’ll bring that to the team.”
Did you think the Bengals would be a strong possibility to pick you?
“Possibly. They brought me in for a visit, so I knew they liked me.”
Were you drafted about when you thought you’d be?
“I was thinking around two, three or four — so I was expecting it.”
Describe the phone call and your reaction...
“My heart jumped a little bit. When I heard Coach Lewis, I was a bit nervous, but was very excited.”
Did you see the area code and know where it was from?
“Yes, Cincinnati came up, so I knew it was them.”
Do you have your friends a family there with you?
“Yes, there was a lot of cheering and happiness going around.”
How excited are you to be part of the Bengals/Steelers rivalry?
“It was always a hard-fought game. It was never predictable. I’m excited to be part of the Bengals and ready to get going.”
The Bengals feel that you can get bigger and stronger at your height — is that something you’re eager to get started with?